A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by the lovely Meagan Visser to do a guest post on her blog. And because Meagan is a pns reader and is also doing some pretty great things with her biz, I quickly agreed. The topic I was asked to write about was the importance of buying handmade. And I am really, dare I say it, happy with what I wrote.
So I thought I would share it here as well, for those that didn’t catch it on Megan’s blog…
Recently, I was watching an episode of American Pickers and something about it struck me. Mike and Frank (the owners of a small antique shop) are in the business of buying low and selling high. They buy antique oddities, furniture, car parts, and more from people across the country and then resell them at a markup in their shop back in Iowa. And actually, their tagline is “We’ll buy anything we think can make a buck on.”
So anyway, what struck me about the episode was that they went to a man’s house who was big into scuba. He had tons of scuba gear scattered throughout his home. Some antiques, mixed with some actually usable equipment. And the three of them got to talking about how scuba diving was something that he use to really enjoy doing with his son, before his son was in a diving accident and became paralyzed. It was a pretty touching story. And all the money that thet dad made that day, he mentioned, would be going towards his son’s medical bills, and for assistance for his son in the future. So after they heard this story, Frank and Mike immediately bought an antique scuba helmet from the man for $5,000, which the audience finds out later was the actually retail worth of the helmet.
Now remember, Frank and Mike are in the business of “making a buck”, yet they purchased this helmet anyway, knowing there was little (if any) room for profit. So why did they do it? Well, they didn’t really say. Maybe it was a mistake on their part? But I’d like to think that they just wanted to help out another human being, by showing support for him and his son in some way. It didn’t really cost them anything to do it. They didn’t make any money. But they’ll most likely be able to resell the helmet for what they purchased it for. So, all around it was still a win-win scenario.
That’s what buying handmade is like. It’s a win-win!
When you buy something that is handmade by an individual, whether you realize it or not, you are showing your support for another human being. You are saying, I’d rather buy this original oil painting from you and wait for you to ship it to me than head down to Rooms to Go and pick up a piece today that is twice as large and half the cost.
Why? Because of the quality. Because of the time, thought, and effort that went into your original work of art. The blood, sweat, and tears (figuratively speaking) that you went through to ultimately call this work “finished”. And most importantly, because I would rather give the money to you and help support a small business like my own, than to a corporation with mass-produced products that will never even know my name.
This kind of support, from one individual to another, is exactly what we need.
Especially during these (still) tough economic times. We need to support each other. Lift each other up. And help small businesses who are trying to better the community you and your children will live in for years to come.
Now this is really just a one of many more reasons why it is important to buy handmade. But it’s a good start.
So, tell me: why do you buy handmade?
Post your thoughts in the comments.
image above antique skeleton key collection (via Country Living)